Tamworth local, Benson Saulo, has made history becoming Australia’s first Indigenous Consul-General appointed to the United States of America.

A Wemba Wemba, Jardwadjali, Weregia and Gunditjmara man, Saulo will be posted to Houston, Texas. Houston is the hometown of George Floyd, whose death at the hands of US police officers has sparked renewed force in the global Black Lives Matter movement.

Saulo took to Instagram to speak of his new appointment:

“It is an honour to be appointed as Australian Consul-General in Houston. I look forward to working closely with Australian businesses and our trade partners to support trade and investment between our nations,” he wrote via his personal Instagram account.

“Proud to connect with our excellent [Austrade and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] teams in North American to build on the network of Peter McGauran and team.”

His new role will help strengthen relations between Australia and the US.

Speaking to The West Australian, Saulo said the appointment came with a “huge weight of responsibility”.

“But then also a sense of achievement and encouragement and a sense of being able to share my culture in the US and connect with other Indigenous people and highlight and showcase the global Indigenous economy,” he told the newspaper.

Saulo has extensive experience across various Australian corporate, not-for-profit and government sectors, working with insurance company Australian Unity, Good Shepherd Microfinance and PwC Australia.

This historic appointment has been added to Saulo’s long list of achievements, including:

  • Being appointed to Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt’s senior advisory group on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament
  • Becoming the first Indigenous Australian appointed as the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations
  • Being lead negotiator on the Rights of the Child Resolutions at the UN General Assembly in 2011
  • Being the founding director of the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Academy (NIYLA)
  • Sitting on the board of the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria.

Saulo has also previously been nominated for Young Australian of the Year, the Australian Human Rights Commission Human Rights Medal for Youth and the 2012 NAIDOC Youth of the Year.

By Rachael Knowles